Michelle Yeoh becomes 1st Asian woman to win Best Actress Oscar

Michelle Yeoh
(Image credit: Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

In this universe, Michelle Yeoh just made history at the Academy Awards.

Yeoh won the Oscar for Best Actress on Sunday for Everything Everywhere All at Once, becoming the first Asian woman ever to do so.

"For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities," Yeoh says. "This is proof that dream big, and dreams do come true. And ladies, don't let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime. Never give up!"

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Yeoh was the first woman who identifies as Asian to be nominated for Best Actress. The only previous Asian nominee was Merle Oberon, who was nominated in 1936 for The Dark Angel, but she hid her ancestry at the time. Yeoh also became only the second woman of color to win the Best Actress Oscar after Halle Berry, who won in 2002 for Monster's Ball — and Berry helped present the Oscar to Yeoh.

This was Yeoh's first Oscar nomination, and her win didn't come easy, as she was in a tight Best Actress race with Cate Blanchett for Tár. But it was a big night for Everything Everywhere All at Once, which won a total of seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor for Ke Huy Quan, and Best Supporting Actress for Jamie Lee Curtis.

Yeoh wasn't the only one to make history on Sunday night, as Ruth Carter also became the first Black woman to ever win two Academy Awards after she took the Oscar for Best Costume Design a second time for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. "Thank you to the Academy for recognizing the superhero that is a Black woman," Carter said. "She endures, she loves, she overcomes."

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